The Glory That Was Greece

Persian wars and the rise of Athens had added to these natural advantages a passion of pride in their city and an almost fanatical belief in her mission. Thus all her citizens were eager to do their utmost to increase the beauty and honour of the violet-crowned city and her virgin goddess. A city-state makes a much more direct appeal to the emotion of patriotism than the large modern territorial state. Lastly, there was freedom in Athens such as no state in history has ever enjoyed, freedom in thought as well as in politics. This has been denied, but the attacks made upon Pheidias and Pericles, and upon the philosophers Anaxagoras and Socrates, may all be explained on political grounds. We have only to look at the plays of Aristophanes to see what amazing liberty of speech prevailed at Athens. Moreover, it was a privileged and educated equality. We must never forget the thousands of slaves whose cruel toil in mine and factory rendered this brilliant society

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